Earning a high salary navigating the river waters, Twain was entertained by his work, and enjoyed his traveling lifestyle.
In 1861, with the beginning of the Civil War, Twain's piloting days came to an end.
Christened as Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the man who would call himself Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835 in the small river town of Florida, Missouri, just 200 miles from Indian Territory.
The sixth child of John Marshall Clemens and Jane Lampton, Twain lived in Florida, Missouri until the age of four, at which time his family relocated to the town of Hannibal in hopes of improving their living situation.
Twain joined the staff of the Virginia City , and became an established reporter/humorist.
In 1863, he adopted the pseudonym Mark Twain, derived from a river pilot term describing safe navigating conditions.
Twain's formal schooling ended after age 12, because his father passed away in March of that year.
He became an apprentice in a printer's shop and then worked under his brother, Orion, at the Hannibal, where he quickly became immersed in the newspaper trade.
In the years that followed, Twain published various articles, traveled the lecture circuits, and relocated between San Francisco, New York, and Missouri.
During this time he also met Olivia Langdon, whom he married on February 2, 1870.